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Word Count: 738
Traveling Through the Dark Stafford furtively conceals the profound meaning of his poem behind a story of the narrator who stops alongside the road to care for a deer The genius behind poem is better understood when the superficial meaning is expressed deeply Driving down a narrow mountain road traveling through the dark the narrator of the poem encounters a deer The deer is actually dead on the edge of the Wilson River road The traveler decides to send the deer over the edge of the canyon because to swerve might make more dead This line indicates that if he fails or swerves in his decision the deer could cause an accident on the narrow road that might cost more lives The narrator prepared with this purpose proceeds with his task He approaches the deer and observes that it is a recent killing He drags her off to the side of the road noting that she is large in the belly The narrator soon discovers that the deer is pregnant and that her fawn is still alive At this moment he hesitates distressed over the decision he knows he must make Now the narrator considers his options and outcomes of both decisions His car stares ahead into the darkness with its lowered parking lights purring its steady engine he stands in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red and can hear the wilderness listen This is an outstanding display of imagery that describes the anxiety the narrator feels about his responsibility The personified car is expectantly awaiting his decision eager to get moving again The wilderness takes on human abilities also silently witnessing the outcome it knows must be but wishing it was otherwise As the narrator contemplates all of this the taillights of the car illuminate him in their red light This is reflective of the heightened emotions he is experiencing but also brings to mind the bloody fate of the
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